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 on: December 02, 2008, 06:46:52 PM 
Started by Mark van 't Hooft - Last post by Mark van 't Hooft
I would agree with you on the screen size issue. It's something that we already found in the Palm Education Pioneer research we did back in 2001-2002, and has resurfaced over and over again. I would think this is an issue that will eventually disappear as the younger generations are coming of age and enter the teaching profession (which actually should already be happening).

 on: December 02, 2008, 05:43:42 PM 
Started by stu_mob - Last post by stu_mob
I've done a widget for the tool as well for anyone wanting to add to their own set of tools on a web site.  I don't seem to be able to paste very successfully here but you can get it from http://www.3sheep.co.uk/2008/12/01/vat-check-tool/.

 on: December 02, 2008, 11:22:42 AM 
Started by James Clay - Last post by James Clay

Nokia have announced their new n series phone, the N97.


The N97 isn’t a device that will trigger knee-jerk hysteria, but instead it should breed cool-headed excitement at the prospect of a new era of mobile experience.

It may be an Nseries handset, but the N97 carves a new space in the otherwise blurred realm between smartphone and laptop - a product built on a foundation of rock solid mobile principles, Nokia innovations, and tangible new technologies, pushed to the extreme and embodied in a slimline pocket shell.

I think it has potential, be interesting to see how it works in the real world.

My thoughts.


 on: November 28, 2008, 02:26:14 PM 
Started by stu_mob - Last post by stu_mob
Hi all

Not sure which was the best stream to post this but I'll put it here!

I've put a together a mobile tool that will let you compare the new VAT price to the old VAT price and see how much money you would be saving. It's free to use and I hope it might prove useful. You can access it on your mobile at

3sheep.mobi and select the VAT tool at the top of page.

I thought it might be useful for educational projects looking at the economic impact of the credit crunch etc. and might even help with purchasing decisions.

Any feedback good or bad gladly received.



 on: November 27, 2008, 04:51:47 PM 
Started by Graham - Last post by Graham
By all means as children develop they will be able to use the web technologies in a more sophisticated way but certainly as a starting point the idea of children as "just able to use these things" as I once heard a man in braces tell me is nonsense.


naughty, naughty  Grin

 on: November 27, 2008, 11:29:27 AM 
Started by Graham - Last post by Spike Town

A very interesting debate. It basically comes down to the fact that schools are judged (rightly or wrongly) on the standards they achieve in a certain set of outcomes, i.e., tests. It would be lovely to allow children to simply go off and learn whatever intereseted them but unfortunately they may end up with very disparate and "useless" knowledge, not to mention underdeveloped skills in terms of accessing and filtering information. One part of my day to day role is working with a primary school who have a Smartphone (no voice, just unlimited data contract), using windows mobile, in the hands of every Y5 child (about 70 of them). The children are very adept at using the devices to research info, collate information in various applications, etc. All the sorts of things that learners have and should ahve been expected to do in classrooms for years with perhaps books and pens and paper. The devices make that much more personal, and effective in terms of being able to access stuff anywhere and edit their ideas as they evolve. The VLE that they use is seen by them as essential, their words, not mine. They use it to store their work (so as not to overload the device) access info that they know the teacher expects them to know about and use blogs, forums etc to share information with the other children. 90% of that use, communication, is used to discuss the relative merits of whether ice cream is better than chocolate, zac efron is better than someone Jonas (? lol) and what their favourite football team is. They wirte loads, often repetitive stuff, about exactly the same thing. They usually write in some form of text speak - which is interesting because there is not exactly a "standard textspeak" and many children complain that they can't undretsand some of what others have written. Maybe that is why standard english is perhaps a good thing. Certainly several children have told me that they will be writing in "proper" english more now as they see what a pain other forms are to read. Their point was that they were unsure of the audience and so went for the best fit type of writing.

When the teachers have put on key pieces of information, or assignments the children tell me that they think it is great because they know then what they have to do and can focus their attention on it. Comments include, "we don't have to trawl the web where there's all that rubbish" and "we know we are safe on the VLE because it is a secure site and the teachers know who the members are". Esafety is a huge worry for children and they tell me (I've had this from pretty much all the classes who share a page across our LA) that they like the VLE for it's safe element. The teachers have capitalised on this and used the safe microcosm to then teach them about the wider issues which Graham rightly mentions, such as esafety and effective use of the web.

It is also clear that given an open search, or even directed tasks and activities to do on a secure page, the vast majority of primary children do not have the abilities or inclination to look further than the explicit blog there are looking at or a forum. Children have constantly asked for help guides for example on using sommat like Windows Movie Maker. These have been made available in "plain" view for them, yet they ask the same question!!!

What is clear is that a VLE of whatever form is a wonderful starting point to teach the children about web responsibility, safety, use of etc whilst in a safe environment. By all means as children develop they will be able to use the web technologies in a more sophisticated way but certainly as a starting point the idea of children as "just able to use these things" as I once heard a man in braces tell me is nonsense. I have hours of taped interviews that are massive evidence of it but you can't see because of child protection LOL!!!

What we have found is that close liaison with parents is essential in all of this as what happens and is learnt at school can be reiforced or monitored at home. The local response from parents has been immense as many are unsure of what the technology can do and how vulnerable their children may be. The VLE has been incredibly warmly welcomed from that set of stakeholders.

Right off, to talk to 70 odd kids and their parents about what they use the web for and if they would like a secure site that only they could access and use to share work, access school stuff and collaborate on stuff without the rest of the world potentially seeing. I wonder what they'll say?  Grin

 on: November 27, 2008, 09:53:21 AM 
Started by Graham - Last post by Graham
At the end of the day you cant just let young people learn what they want when they want there needs to be some structure and uncontrolled learning surelly is bad practice.

I would argue that this is excellent practice and should be encouraged. Learning happens in both formal and informal environments not simply within a physical building with somebody dictating what should be learnt and when. Mobile technology and learner mobility is intended to enable uncontrolled learning with a structure defined by the learner (s), e.g. social constructivism.

How many times have you all researched something on the net only to find that it's garbage teachers should be there to filter that garbage and find the roses and deliver that content in a way that the learner wants and understands.

Smiley Do you think that a 21st century skill for learners might be an ability to compare, filter and interpret information from sources such as the Internet? After all we teach children at a young age how to cross the road...

I also wonder whether young learners have greater skills in this area than many of their teachers?

I'm a network manager at a school and very keen on implimenting mobile technologies to link up with the VLE and talented teachers to create a more organic way of learning and allow some of the pupils at least to benifit from a 24/7 mobile classroom.

Out of interest, why would you believe that talented teachers require a VLE?

Young learners are already creating blogs, podcasts, social pages etc. Perhaps teachers could interface with these rather than learners having to travel back in time to view primitive pages from VLE systems?

 on: November 27, 2008, 09:40:08 AM 
Started by Leeg - Last post by Graham
Hi Leeg

As long as you save documents in Microsoft's version of open XML then you should be fine sharing docs between your Windows PC's and WinMob 6.1 devices.

See here for more info.

Just make sure that your devices come supplied with Windows Office Mobile!

In regards to your choice of device this very much depends on the objectives of using the technology, i.e. what outcomes you are seeking. You'll naturally need to consider what level of support will be available to teaching staff and how these devices may be embedded within learning and teaching practice.

If you're wanting to engage kids on their terms have you considered asking them what they'd prefer?



 on: November 27, 2008, 09:31:14 AM 
Started by James Clay - Last post by Graham
Well caught James and also well interpreted. I've just returned from speaking at the GoMobile Expo in Malaysia where it's clear that mobile broadband / Internet has taken the lead over wired practically before wired even past go.

For me this demonstrates that access whether it be for social, entertainment or learning is by nature a personal (sometimes shared), mobile experience often requiring a personal device/communicator. As you've said this indicates a future where citizens will expect to have skills associated with finding, using and engaging with information on the move. As oft said this seems at odds with the current thinking on UK home access which still geared around 20th century shared laptop running "office" applications in the home.


 on: November 26, 2008, 10:26:57 AM 
Started by James Clay - Last post by James Clay
I thought members of this forum may be interested in a podcast we recorded on the Asus EeePC.

In this show, James is joined by Nick Jeans, Kev Hickey, Dave Foord, David Sugden and Lisa Valentine.

The discussion starts off looking at the role of the Asus EeePC and other netbooks on e-learning on colleges across the UK. The discussion also looks at the variety of presentation software now available from PowerPoint to Keynote, Open Office to Google Docs. Then there is other stuff as well…


Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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